swiss credit cards international comparison
Accounts & Cards

How Do Swiss Credit Cards Compare Internationally?

September 6, 2022 - Daniel Dreier

How do the costs and benefits of Swiss credit cards compare to those of cards in the US and Singapore? Find a basic comparison here.

Credit cards are one of the most popular payment methods in Switzerland, but how good are Swiss credit cards in terms of pricing and benefits? Here, compares important features of Swiss credit cards to those of cards issued on two other continents — in the United States and Singapore — to find out.

1. Annual Fees

Most Swiss credit cards have an annual fee which you have to pay every year in order to use the card. How do fees compare with those paid by other cardholders around the world?

  • Switzerland: The average standard annual fee across all credit cards included in the credit card comparison is 145.66 Swiss francs. There are now many Swiss credit cards with no annual fee. Many of these credit cards have reward programs and credit card insurance benefits.

  • US: According to data from US comparison service Valuepenguin, the average US credit card fee is 147 US dollars. As in Switzerland, a number of credit cards with no annual fees are offered, and many of these are very favorable.

  • Singapore: An analysis by shows the average standard annual credit card fee in Singapore to be 208.94 Singapore dollars (around 146 Swiss francs).

2. Cash withdrawal fees

Cash withdrawal fees - more accurately called cash advance fees - are the charges you pay when you use your credit card to get cash at automated teller machines (ATMs) or at the tills of banks or stores.

  • Switzerland: Cash advance fees range between 2.5 and 4 percent of the amount withdrawn, with the average rate across all Swiss credit cards being 3.8 percent. You pay a minimum fee of either 5 or 10 francs per withdrawal, depending on which card you use and whether you withdraw in Switzerland or abroad. The Migros Cumulus Visa credit card is exceptional in that you can use it to get cash advances at Migros supermarkets with no cash advance fee. You can find more tips in the guide to getting low-cost cash advances with Swiss credit cards.

  • US: A couple of US credit cards issued by credit unions have no cash advance fees. These are the exception though, as the vast majority of US credit cards charge between 3 and 5 percent for withdrawals in the US. A minimum fee of 5 or 10 US dollars per withdrawal is typical.

  • Singapore: The average cash advance fee across credit cards issued in Singapore is 6.35 percent of each transaction. The minimum fee per withdrawal ranges between 15 and 20 Singapore dollars (around 10 to 15 Swiss francs). But there is one Singaporean credit card which does not have cash advance fees (the Standard Chartered Smart credit card).

3. Foreign transaction fees

Foreign transaction fees apply when you use your credit card outside of the country, and when you shop online from foreign merchants.

  • Switzerland: The average foreign transaction fee across all Swiss credit cards is just under 1.7 percent of the amount you spend. But there are a handful of credit cards which do not have foreign transaction fees (the Migros Cumulus Visa, for example), or waive these for certain currencies (like the Swissquote Silver Multi-Currency credit card).

  • US: There are no figures for the average foreign transaction fee across all US credit cards. However, the consensus is that US foreign transaction fees are typically 3 percent. It is worth noting that there are a fair number of credit cards on the US market which do not have foreign transaction fees.

  • Singapore: The average foreign transaction fee across Singaporean credit cards is 3.02 percent, as revealed by a analysis. A number of Singapore banks issue dual-currency credit cards (primarily Singapore dollars and Chinese yuan or US dollars), and do not charge foreign transaction fees for purchases in those currencies.

4. Interest rates

The ability to carry negative credit card balances and pay off debt over time is the primary difference between credit cards and other payment methods, like debit cards and prepaid cards. In this playing field, Swiss credit cards look pretty good.

  • Switzerland: Data from the Swiss credit card comparison on shows that interest rates vary between 9.4 and 12 percent. The majority use the 12 percent maximum annual interest rate of 12 percent defined by the Swiss consumer credit act. Interest rates are not variable - the same rate applies to all holders of a specific credit card, and to all types of transactions.

  • US: The average credit card annual interest rate is 16.45 percent, according to data from the Federal Reserve. There is no national limit on interest rates for credit cards, so cards with rates as high as 39.9% per year can be found. Rates are variable, so the actual interest rate you get depends on your creditworthiness. US credit cards commonly have higher interest rates for cash advances than for purchases.

  • Singapore: The interest rates of credit cards issued in Singapore range between 15% and 28%, with the average annual interest rate being 25 percent according to a study by comparison service Value Champion. Interest rates can vary based on your creditworthiness.

5. Cash back

Many card providers, including some Swiss issuers, reward spending with cash back, points or airline miles.

  • Switzerland: Swiss no-annual-fee credit cards with cash back rewards are becoming more common. Examples include the Cashback American Express credit card, the Poinz American Express credit card, and the Certo One Mastercard. The Cornèrcard Visa Platinum (1.5% cash back) has the highest cash back rate, but it has an annual fee.

  • US: Some US credit cards reward you with 2% cash back on all purchases. The Citi Double Cash Card and Wells Fargo Active Cash credit cards are two examples. Credit cards which reward you with high cash back when you shop at specific stores or for certain kinds of purchases are also common. In this case, cash back can be as high as 6%, depending on the card.

  • Singapore: Credit cards with rewards above 1% are common. The highest cash back offers are currently 1.7% and 1.6% cash back on all purchases (UOB Absolute Cashback Card and Citi Cash Back+ Mastercard respectively).

6. Welcome offers

Card issuers offer signup bonuses as a way of attracting new customers. Many promotional offers for marketing campaigns are short-lived. But there are also credit cards which have fixed welcome offers which always apply.

  • Switzerland: Swiss issuers are not insanely generous with their welcome offers. The highest fixed signup bonuses are 30 francs (Poinz Swiss Loyalty Card) and 20,000 airline miles (Swiss Miles & More Platinum).

  • US: The new customer bonuses of US credit cards typically only apply if you spend a minimum amount in your first few months as a cardholder. But assuming you meet the minimum spending, the welcome offers are very generous. Currently, the most generous welcome offers give you 300 dollars (Capital One Savor card), while 200-dollar welcome bonuses are fairly common.

  • Singapore: Welcome offers are limited to temporary promotional offers. These can be as high as 350 Singapore dollars (around 245 Swiss francs). But they often apply only to a limited number of new customers. There are often minimum spending requirements as well. Interestingly, some issuers welcome new customers with merchandise (electronics or fashion accessories, for example) rather than cash back, points, or airline miles.


In recent years, Swiss credit card issuers have made massive strides in delivering better value for money. Less than ten years ago, Swiss credit cards were largely uncompetitive and unfavorable compared to offers in the US and Singapore. Now, consumers in Switzerland can get similar value to that found in other established credit card markets.

More on this topic:
Compare all Swiss credit cards now

Request now for free

Leading credit cards

Free credit card

Swisscard Cashback Cards Amex

  • No annual fees

  • Two cards Amex & Visa/Mastercard

  • With cash back

Free credit card

Migros Cumulus Visa

  • No annual fees

  • With Cumulus points

  • Without foreign currency fees

Swiss credit cards in comparison

Find the cheapest credit card now

Compare now
Request now for free

Cheap bank accounts with card

Free bank account


  • No account fees

  • Banking partner: Swissquote & Postfinance

  • CHF 20 trading credit with code «YUHMONEYLAND»

Swiss digital bank


  • Multi-currency account with Visa card (CHF, EUR, USD, GBP)

  • Favorable foreign exchange rates

  • CHF 100 welcome bonus

Online private account

UBS key4

  • 50 KeyClub points as a welcome gift

  • Online private account with debit card

Editor Daniel Dreier
Daniel Dreier is editor and personal finance expert at
Free subscription

Sign up for the free newsletter

Subscribe now
more than 3 million pieces of data

Find all comparisons here

Go to comparisons